July 3, 2010 Subject:
I was one of the A/V geeks in my high school (late 1970s) and I'm pretty sure we had a print of this. It wasn't the current curriculum, just something nobody had bothered to toss out.
Also, regarding "16mm framing" in another review - I don't think that's the case here, it looks more like a video artifact from an early VTR.
From the color characteristics, I am guessing this film was probably transferred to tape a *long* time ago, and subsequent copies have this flaw.
Think "open reel" VTR (!) probably to re-distribute it in a semi-pro video format which some secondary schools and colleges used for campus broadcasts in the late 1960s.
December 3, 2008 Subject:
Bell System Workplace
The video would have been better if the projectionist running the projector knew how to operate the "framer". When digitizing a 16mm film, it is important to strive for a faithful reproduction of the film, not distort it. I would suggest that the film be re-digitized with someone who has his eyes turned on. Otherwise, the project is a flop in spite of the film being a top notch tool of the workplace as the original Bell System intended.
May 9, 2005 Subject:
Father Knows Best (except when he's driving)
Very nice looking, (this is of course a Jerry Fairbanks production) yet somewhat predictable yarn about a fellow who essentially doesn't practice what he preaches. As I said before, this one you can see certain things coming from a mile away, like when the dad approaches his daughter at the very beginning, you know he's dead, and then how we don't see the son until the flashback starts that he's toast as well.
Aside from that, this standard road safety pic is gorgeous to look at (save for the process shots!) and the accident itself, well, they liked it so much they'll show it to you again! In slow motion!
March 6, 2005 Subject:
Campy but somewhat effective view into the glorious pre-seatbelt days gone by. The father's voice is so gravelly , probably due to chain smoking Chesterfields. Good scenery from the time. Reviewer "Alan B" accurately describes the experience of driving those 5,000LB cars with primitive "drum brakes" ,that probably had about 20% of the necessary braking power. Scary.
Sad ending where they trash a perfect specimen of
a 1960 Ford.
November 22, 2004 Subject:
Before Ralph Nader
I remember seeing this in 7th grade science class. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.
The film was made about 1961 or so, before Nader, before seat belts, before there was much of an interstate system.
It was chilling to watch for a roomful of 12-year-olds and may have made some of us better drivers. I know I never forgot it.
I misremembered the scene at the end, though. I thought that David Wayne took his son with him. It was still effective, the father asking his son for absolution and not getting it.
I recommend anyone who has not done so to get behind the wheel of a pre-1964 car and just drive around a parking lot in it. You'l be flung around as if in a boat on a choppy sea, hanging on to the huge steering wheel (no power assist!) for dear life. You bring your foot down and mush to a stop, wondering how your parents lived.
Driving has gotten safer over the years, and not because of market forces.
November 1, 2004 Subject:
Or, The Living Dead and How They Got That Way
Another weeper of a driverÂs ed film. A guy who was killed in an auto accident comes back as a ghost and watches his wife sell his favorite chair to a couple of old biddies for 35 bucks. Then he tells us all about the accident. Apparently, after taking an extensive defensive driving course given by his employer, the Bell System, and preaching to his family endlessly about safe driving, he gets himself killed when he breaks one of his own rules, which frankly doesnÂt speak too well for the driving course. Of course, he does live in a town where the driverÂs are all universally terrible and you can count on seeing an accident every few miles. And you gotta wonder when the guy does an elaborate check on all his carÂs lights before driving, but doesnÂt have his family fasten their seat belts. The film ends with much wailing and gnashing of teeth by the guyÂs wife when their little boy dies in the hospital. ItÂs a good thing sheÂs clueless about the fact that the old biddies who bought her husbandÂs chair were the very ones who caused the accident in the first place. The first part of the film is pretty campy, the middle part with the driver training course is boring (though I want the magnetic road board and the magnetic cars for the Film Ephemera Museum of Quirky Devices), and the end is tear-jerking. No gore in this one, but the opening credits end by smashing into the windshield, just as if you are in your very own accident.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.